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Bernie Little Memorial

Wingless boats reign supreme in breezy Ellensburg

Photo album available HERE

YouTube playlist available HERE

Pit tour video from M5 Performance available HERE

It was a near-perfect day in central Washington as the Meyers Autotech Championship Series Powered by Rattlesnake RC returned to Ellensburg for the Bernie Little Memorial. With cloudless skies, warm temperatures, and just enough of a breeze to make the racers think, it was time for major horsepower midway through the 2022 season.

The entrants were numerous; 44 boats entered in three classes. Who would reign supreme at the end of the day?

Gas Scale Final

1st: 1983 American Speedy Printing (Blue), Bill Brandt

2nd: 1977 Atlas Van Lines, Jim Whyte

3rd: 1983 KISW Miss Rock, Dave Brandt

4th: 1982 Oh Boy! Oberto, Jason Walters

5th (DNF): 1977 Charlie's Girl, Mike Henriksen

6th (DNF): 1983 Miss Houston, Henry Oord

The focus in R/C boat racing in modern times is to crawl up to the line in the inside lanes, trying to go as slow as you can to be in lane one. However, there is always a risk of being TOO slow, and this time Dave Brandt fell victim with the Miss Rock. Several boats were nearly early at the start, while Bill Brandt hit the line perfectly on the outside with the Speedy Printing at speed. With the momentum behind him, Bill was able to sweep around all the slow starters and never looked back. Jim Whyte was able to chase down the Miss Rock to take second, with Dave finishing third.

1/8th Scale Electric (FE) Consolation

1st: 2008 U-5, Brady Brackett

2nd: 1973 Miss Budweiser, Bobby Colean

3rd: 1971 Hallmark Homes, Jim Brittain

4th: 1983 Atlas Van Lines, Rich Matkin

5th (DNF): 2008 U-7, Rob Brackett

6th (DSQ): 2011 Graham Trucking, Bob Brackett

The traditional chaotic start of the FE heats had Rich Matkin leading for a couple of laps, before the Atlas hooked inside a buoy while trying to stave off the Budweiser. All of a sudden the youngest Brackett in the heat was in the lead, and he managed the wind and rough waves to victory. Bobby Colean held off the Hallmark to finish second, with Jim Brittain finishing third.

1/8th Scale Electric (FE) Final

1st: 1983 KISW Miss Rock, Paxton Reunanen

2nd: 2008 U-5, Brady Brackett

3rd: 1983 Miss Houston, Henry Oord

4th: 1987 Eliminator, Bill Brandt

5th: 1969 Notre Dame, Marc Connelly

6th (DNF): 1986 Mr. Pringle's, Jason Walters

7th (DNF): 1987 Miller American, Don Mock

With the waves increasing in the left turn, the final was about managing clean water as well as holding off your competitors. Paxton Reunanen took the early lead with the Miss Rock, and held lane one throughout the race. Brady's came up impressively from the trailer position to challenge him before settling for a career-best second. Henry Oord and the Miss Houston steered around the ill-handling Eliminator to take the final podium spot.

1/8th Scale Nitro Consolation

1st: 1979 Miss Circus Circus, Geoffry Grembowski

2nd: 1974 Miss U.S., Steven Kinney

3rd: 1960 Miss Burien, John Gatjens

4th (DNF): 2014 Spirit of Qatar, Jim Putich

5th (DNF): 1974 Red Man, Paul Jackson

6th (DNF): 1974 U-76, Joey Caines

At the start, it was Geoffry Grembowski in lane 2 with the Circus with a slim lead over Paul Jackson with the Red Man. Going into the right turn, the Red Man lifted up the left sponson and barrel-rolled, ending Jackson's chances at victory. From there, Grembowski managed the lead over a charging Steven Kinney and the Miss U.S. to advance to the final as the trailer.

1/8th Scale Nitro Final

1st: 1978 Squire Shop (U-65), Dave Brandt

2nd: 2011 Lakeridge Paving, Gary Grembowski

3rd: 1979 Miss Circus Circus, Geoffry Grembowski

4th (DNF): 1994 Miss Budweiser (T-3), Paxton Reunanen

5th (DNF): 1988 Miss Stroh's Light, Scott Meyers

6th (DNF): 1976 Olympia Beer, Steve Roman

7th (DNF): 1982 Oh Boy! Oberto, Jim Brittain

With the wind increasing and the left turn resembling more and more like the Atlantic Ocean, it was a battle of attrition for the Bernie Little Memorial Nitro trophy. As he's done so many times, Dave Brandt took the early lead and never looked back, taking the victory over several dead boats. Gary Grembowski took second with the Lakeridge, with son Geoffry unsuccessfully trying to chase him down from the trailer position to finish third.


July 9-10


Location: Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, Ellensburg, WA


Previous Race Winners

Race held in Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, Ellensburg, WA 2004, 2006-2015, 2020, 2022-Present

Race held in Waughop Lake, Lakewood, WA 2021

Race held in Lake Silverado, Adna, WA 2016-2017

Race held in Mollala, OR 2005


Current-2020: winners shown as nitro // FE // gas

-2022: Dave Brandt (1978 Squire Shop U-65) // Paxton Reunanen (1983 KISW Miss Rock) // Bill Brandt (1983 American Speedy Printing Blue) 

-2021: John Olson (1971 Country Boy) // Don Mock (1985 Miller American) // John Olson (1971 Country Boy) 

-2020: Kirk Maupin (1976 Miss Vernors) // Brad Lewis (1976 Spirit of Dayton Walther) // Brian Packer (1983 Miss Houston) 

2019-2013: winners shown as nitro // FE

-2019: Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame) // Don Mock (1984 Atlas Van Lines) 

-2018: Kirk Maupin (1977 Miss Esquire Products) // Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame) 

-2017: Dave Brandt (1978 Squire Shop U-64) // Bill Brandt (1982 Gilmore Special) 

-2016: Dave Brandt (1978 Squire Shop) // Bill Brandt (1982 Gilmore Special) 

-2015: Dave Brandt (1995 Pico American Dream) // Bill Brandt (1982 Gilmore Special) 

-2014: Kirk Maupin (1977 Miss Esquire Products) // Dave Brandt (2008 Miss Elam Plus) 

-2013: Kirk Maupin (1977 Squire) // John Olson (1997 Close Call) 


Prior to 2013, no FE class run

-2012: Kirk Maupin (1977 Miss Esquire Products)

-2011: Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame)

-2010: Kirk Maupin (1975 Atlas Van Lines)

-2009: Steve Schmitz (1985 Squire Shop)

-2008: Bill Brandt (1972 Notre Dame)

-2007: David Newton (1985 Miss 7-Eleven)

-2006: Scott Meyers (1994 Miss Exide)

-2005: Dave Brandt (1995 Pico American Dream)

-2004: Dave Brandt (1995 Pico American Dream)


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